How To Overclock AMD Ryzen CPUs

1800X: Maximum Overclock & Scaling

With the 1800X as our best overclocking candidate, we shift our focus to it for the rest of our experiments.

This section explores how the processor behaves at various core voltages. We begin with an under-volting scenario and finish with overclocking. In the interest of time, we're using a fairly brief test (Cinebench R15), so the reported values probably aren't their stable ceilings. However, under a heavier load, the observed progression should be similar.

Voltage (V)
Frequency (MHz)
Score (pt)
Temperature (°C)
Frequency % Score %
1.0
3450
1540
46
0.0
0.0
1.1
3700
1642
52
7.2
6.6
1.2
3850
1710
56
11.6
11.0
1.3
4000
1770
63
15.9
14.9
1.4
4100
1822
69
18.8
18.3
1.4 SMT Off
4175
1318
62
21.0
-14.4
  • With a core voltage of 1.0V, we had to lower the frequency to 3450 MHz. This serves as our comparison's starting point.
  • Moving to 1.1V, the frequency jumps 250 MHz. That's a progression of 7.2% for a performance gain of 6.6%.
  • At 1.2V, we are slightly under the default core voltage. The frequency can be increased to 3850 MHz. The overclocking headroom, with respect to XFR frequency, is not high on the 1800X.
  • With 1.3V we reach the 4 GHz.
  • Our last increase is to 4100 MHz at 1.4V.
  • Since there are certain applications that do not use SMT, we wanted to see if deactivating the feature would allow us to push clock rate higher. Without SMT, we picked up an additional 75 MHz. The temperature also benefited: it dropped 7°C.

As is true with most components, a small increase in voltage allows a clear gain in frequency. But the magnitude of this gain lessens as Vcore goes up. Transitioning from 1.0 to 1.1V allows us to boost clock rate by 250 MHz, but going from 1.3 to 1.4V only yields 100 MHz.

Given these conditions, it is difficult to recommend a core voltage in excess of 1.3 to 1.35V for daily usage. For benchmarking, the voltage can be pushed to 1.4V without much risk.

Performance in Cinebench is heavily dependent on clock rate, so we naturally see a strong correlation between frequency and score. But it's also a threaded benchmark. While deactivating SMT (and thus eight of the 16 logical cores) helps us hit a higher clock rate, it also heavily penalizes our results.

MORE: Best CPUs

MORE: Intel & AMD Processor Hierarchy

MORE: CPU Overclocking Guide: How (and Why) to Tweak Your Processor

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33 comments
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  • drinkingcola86
    Page 4 third paragraph.

    "Also, we observed that this this offset of 20°C is a loose approximation,"

    Needs correcting. One "this."
  • ykki
    Power consumption benchmarks?
  • jkhoward
    Dang-it guys. The 1080 doesn't freaking work well with the new AMD CPU. You know this. Why would you not choose an AMD card? Trying to make AMD look bad again?

    <edited for language>
  • popatim
    What evidence do you have for that statement jkhoward?
  • MeanMachine41
    612443 said:
    Dang-it guys. The 1080 doesn't freaking work well with the new AMD CPU. You know this. Why would you not choose an AMD card? Trying to make AMD look bad again? <edited for language>


    I have evidence to the contrary and the GTX-1080 works well with new Ryzen 7 1800X.

  • Kenneth_72
    AMD's is missing it's opportunities. They better start hitting the ground running if they want to compete AND WE NEED THEM TO COMPETE!
  • CountMike
    Problems are more of BIOS oriented, AGESA being main culprit.
  • Akindabigdeal
    My 1080 works great with my 1700x
  • mike3456
    I look forward to more articles like this as Ryzen matures. Great job!
  • JamesSneed
    For anyone looking to OC Ryzen this video from an AMD engineer is pretty interesting.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vZgpHTaQ10k
  • It is horrible overclocker. I have 6900k running 4.4@1.25V and on Load temperature doesn't go over 52C, idles ~24-30C.
  • gdmaclew
    I noticed the BIOS screen shots were dated March 7th. Which version of the BIOS was used?
  • JamesSneed
    2164959 said:
    It is horrible overclocker. I have 6900k running 4.4@1.25V and on Load temperature doesn't go over 52C, idles ~24-30C.


    Ryzen doesn't OC great but that 6900k is a $1000 CPU. From a value perspective a 1700 OC'ed to 3.9-4.0Ghz is only a few percent behind the 6900k and we are talking 3x less cost vs the 6900k so there is that.
  • elbert
    That was a great review Wizerty. Will we see the same tests for the 6 core and quad's? I would guess the 8 core has the best possible settings but there is always the chance they dont.
  • techy1966
    Very nice write up it sounds like you had a lot of fun doing all of this. It is always great to learn something new and what better way than to do that on a completely new platform. Where you kind of have to go back to the basics and find what the limits are and what the settings you apply to the system effect overall performance.

    I have bookmarked this write up because I plan to get a Ryzen based system down the road and most likely will be the R7 1700 it makes the most sense. I hope that if there is a big batch of bug updates or added features to the bios that you will do a follow up of this to show the gains if any. Thank You
  • rwinches
    Just make sure you don't overclock your i7 7700K as per Intels instructions

    http://wccftech.com/intel-i7-7700k-owners-flood-forums-with-overheating-complaints/


  • JamesSneed
    ^ Seriously, wtf is Intel thinking.
  • BulkZerker
    310904 said:
    What evidence do you have for that statement jkhoward?


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nLRCK7RfbUg

    for one. . . there's some stuff on the L T T forums as well. It's over a month old, dunno if the issue has been addressed by nVidia or not. They certainly have not acknowledged it publicly. Otherwise you'd probably have heard of it.

    But not on Tom's, they'd never slander big green.
  • Plumboby
    intel is dead in the water once amd fixes the bugs in the new set ups. Mixed results so far atm but things are getting better seen the video hand having amd being so open when intel arnt w8 till the end of the year for the 2nd gen rysens processors & motherboards always the 1st gen or anything is buggy usually technology wise i be upgrading soon from intel usually an intel fan but over the way intel have been stacking their prices & push on the skylake series boards kaby lake shows no intrest to me i rather pay the diffrence & w8 for amd to sort the rest the issues then i be going amd & do some testing. Come on AMD give intel the scare they need as the next lot of video cards are going be worth the wait
  • __Isomorph__
    wizerty, what are those other boards you mentioned in passing that have an external clock and allow increase of ref clk above 100Mhz? does the Taichi x370 allow this?
  • JamesSneed
    2449301 said:
    wizerty, what are those other boards you mentioned in passing that have an external clock and allow increase of ref clk above 100Mhz? does the Taichi x370 allow this?


    The are the ones I know of that have an external clock generator.

    Asus Crosshair 6 Hero, Asrock Taichi, Gigabyte Aorus Gaming K7
  • Logic-Elliven
    NB: G.Skill's Flare line are just rebadged Ripjaws with $ 30 tacked onto the price.

    I note that there was no mention of bus termination impedance/resistance setting tweaking in the writeup..?!?

    There is a piece of software called 'Project Mercury' that avoids inter CCX thread hopping and SMT until more threads than cores per CCX and allows the switching off of SMT without a reboot.
    CPU utilization: ~0% ie: Bloody good software!
    The site and name need work and some anti virus packages take offence to the compression used in the software>
    Virustotal shows 'UDS:DangerousObject.Multi.Generic' for 3 out of 60 AV scans = false positive to me.

    Project Mercury:
    https://techcenterdk.wordpress.com/2017/04/09/project-mercury-v1-2-8-0-released/

    If it had been used for this review it would have saved tonnes of time in reboots...
  • __Isomorph__
    @Logic-Elliven: thanks, awesome resource. hope it doesn't rootkit my PC.
  • 0ldsch00l
    Hell nof if virustotal flags it I dont care if you think its a false positive, I wont install that.